Domestic violence cases on the rise in Orange County; help offered around the clock

Deputies have responded to 4,300 calls in 2021

Domestic violence cases rise as pandemic lingers

ORLANDO, Fla. – Domestic violence calls are increasing in Orange County, leaders said Monday.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said the data doesn’t show the full picture due to many cases being unreported.

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Mina said deputies have responded to 4,300 domestic violence calls in 2021. More than 3,700 charges have been filed, he added.

There’s also been an uptick in domestic violence homicides, according to Mina.

In 2020, there were a dozen homicides in unincorporated Orange County; this year, there have been nine, Mina said.

Advocates say victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, available 24 hours a day, at 800-799-7233. In Central Florida, the Harbor House offers a 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.

Victims of sexual assault and abuse can also call RAINN, 24-hours a day, at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Advocates say one of the best ways to avoid abuse is to know the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence, or NNED, said there are “red flags,” or warning signs, of controlling behaviors that could led to an abusive relationship, including if a partner is excessively jealous, wants to know where you are at all times and insists that you stop seeing friends and family. Read the full list here. 

Anyone experiencing these red flags, or knows someone who might be, can call 800-799-SAFE (7233) and speak to a domestic violence advocate.